Imagine, then, the people’s surprise during the entrance hymn, when their homeless friend made his way into the pulpit and took off his cap. The people recognized that it was their pastor! The pastor began his remarks that morning in this way: “I didn’t do this to embarrass you or to poke you in the eye. I did it to remind us that this is a person that Jesus loves, and he has called us to love him, too.”
Raoul Wallenberg paid the ultimate price for his actions. In January 1945, after the Soviet Army liberated Hungary, he requested and received permission to visit the Soviet military headquarters. He never arrived, and he was never seen again. To this day his disappearance remains a mystery. The official Russian position was that he was arrested on suspicion of being a spy for the United States. The Russian government even claimed as late as 2001 that he died of a heart attack in 1947 in prison in Moscow. Other stories state that he was executed.
Programs like Habitat for Humanity do help, but they can only do so much, especially since the local branch has to do its work in two counties. The branch’s work is also hampered by financial, material and human resources. The various levels of government also have roles to play, but at the same time they can only do so much because their resources are not limitless.
Unfortunately, there are two problems with this plan in this area. First, houses are not selling in this area right now because of the sad state of the local economy. Second, there is currently no suitable retirement housing in this area other than senior citizen apartment complexes, all of which are currently full. The nearest retirement complex is thirty miles away, which means that seniors have to leave the area. If they have lived in this area all of their lives, moving away can be unsettling.
There are plans to create a retirement community in this area, but it will take time for it to become a reality. In the meantime, the situation has to be addressed. Some seniors have solved the problem by having adult children living with them, and my mother is no exception. Yes, I still live at home because of both my low wages and my mother’s age-related health issues. While having adult children living at home or having live-in caregivers is a solution, it is not without its own set of problems, such as the stress involved in caring for elderly parents. Thank goodness some nursing homes and retirement homes have recognized this and offer respite care and adult day care programs.